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No Vacation - Days
No Vacation - Days

No Vacation - Days


Dream-pop act No Vacation revives its signature nostalgic sound with the warm and vibrant “Days.” The track was released along with the announcement of a new EP, called Phasing, which premieres October 18 via Topshelf Records. The atmospheric surf-rock drums and wavy, bright guitar tones provide an inviting opener with a breezy, bopping beat. Reminiscent of Beach Fossils, the instrumentation is lush and vivid with a crystal-clear production style. It builds to a nearly 2-minute long jam session packed with full, rich sounds and a shredding guitar solo, epitomizing the track’s carefree late-summer feel. But all of that may as well be background noise to singer Sab Mai’s dreamy vocals. Delicate and subdued, Mai’s voice melts into the song with velvety-smooth movement and ease; you’ll want to hang onto every lingering word. “Days” is a cool, beachy jam with a fun, bopping beat you’ll want to listen to again and again.

Britnee Meiser on October 3, 2019
Anna of the North - Dream Girl

Anna of the North - Dream Girl


Scandanavian artist Anna of the North further cements herself as a pop force with her newest single “Dream Girl.” It’s light and catchy with bright keys opening the breakup track. She cycles through all the traditional breakup emotions as she sings about visiting their old spots in hopes of bumping into her ex before launching into a bit of denial in the chorus, “In my dream world / I’m still your dream girl / No if, but or maybes / I’m still your baby.” It’s the song for everyone who hasn’t yet reached the “I hate you” phase of a breakup. You still want that person to love you back. The animosity hasn’t built up in your system. Just like Anna, you might pick up the phone at 3 am just to hear their voice even though you know it won’t yield the results you’re hoping for. “Dream Girl” is the first single and title track to Anna of the North’s sophomore album due out October 25.

Corinne Bates on October 2, 2019
Gardens & Villa - Rosie

Gardens & Villa - Rosie


LA indie rockers Gardens & Villa have released the dreamy, atmospheric single “Rosie.” An early collaboration with the late Richard Swift, the lo-fi jam is like a psychedelic walk through nature. Nostalgic guitar tones, spacey synths, and a wispy flute are vivid additions to the arrangement, which is lush with colorful, mystical sounds and imagery, and is perfectly suited to the season. Soothing, washed-out vocals and a faint, cozy piano add depth and darkness, while the lyrics serve to further immerse you in the folk-rock track’s catchy, swaying beat: “Midsummer night's / Dreamy eyes of a fool / When I’m drinking with you again.” Mysterious and warm, “Rosie” is a feel-good track for cloudier days.

Britnee Meiser on October 2, 2019
King Princess - Ain't Together

King Princess - Ain't Together


King Princess craves commitment and certainty with her partner on "Ain't Together," the latest in a string of singles preceding her debut album, Cheap Queen. A listless sense of longing permeates the song as King Princess, aka Mikaela Straus, finds herself stuck with someone who will say "I love you," yet deny to others that they're in a relationship. Self-consciously, she ponders, "Do you think labels make it taste much better?" desperate to sound nonchalant. "Baby you ain't gotta worry about nothing," Straus assures her partner, though it's clear that it's herself she needs to convince. With a breezy choir humming casual "Ah's" and "Do-do-do's" throughout the track, you almost start to believe she's comfortable in the in-between, until she admits, "Oh it kills / I ain't chill at all, at all." The song features a drumbeat from Father John Misty that's as effortlessly compelling as her hazy, psychedelic rock guitar. Alongside previous rock-driven single "Prophet," "Ain't Together" has Straus traversing genre without losing her delightfully unique melancholy-tinged pop essence. Cheap Queen is due out on October 25, marking the first full-length album to be released on Mark Ronson's Zelig Records.

Ysabella Monton on October 2, 2019
Brittany Howard - Short and Sweet

Brittany Howard - Short and Sweet


Timeless and emotional, “Short and Sweet” is an entrancing acoustic ballad from Brittany Howard’s debut solo album, Jaime. The stripped arrangement, inspired by blues and old soul, is soft and intimate, like walking peacefully into a dream. Singing with just a guitar and a wash of white noise, the track finds Howard, the lead singer and guitarist of Alabama Shakes, at her most vulnerable. Channeling the likes of Billie Holiday and Nina Simone,Howard’s vocals are close, raw, and so gorgeous. The lo-fi production emphasizes the track’s timeless feel, giving Howard’s voice a velvety, hypnotic sort of appeal. The lyrics, much like the song title, are simple and powerful, and Howard’s easy croon makes them feel effortless. “I may be a fool to dream of you,” she sings, “But god it feels so good to dream at all.” “Short and Sweet” proves that the queen of modern soul does quiet just as well.

Britnee Meiser on October 1, 2019
Corinne Bailey Rae - Jersey Girl

Corinne Bailey Rae - Jersey Girl


"Don't you know that all my dreams come true when I'm walkin' down the street with you?" Corinne Bailey Rae's dreamy revamp of Tom Waits' "Jersey Girl" is made of the same stuff Old Hollywood love was built on. The British soul singer is part of the upcoming Come On Up To The House: Women Sing Waits, Tom Waits cover album featuring names like Aimee Mann, Phoebe Bridgers and The Wild Reeds. For her part, Bailey Rae picked the 1980 hit that was on Waits' Heartattack And Vine album. In an interview, she explained that she loves how the song expresses so clearly "the rush of first love" and "the thrill of finding the one in a crowd of many.” The song, which was already memorable to those of us who have been in love with our own Jersey girl, gains a new life with Bailey Rae's sweet and captivating voice and allows a whole new set of feelings to settle in the hearts of the listeners. After all, "Nothin' else matters in this whole wide world, when you're in love with a jersey girl." Come On Up To The House: Women Sing Waits comes out on November 22.

Giulia Santana on October 1, 2019
The Deer - Move to Girls

The Deer - Move to Girls


Self-proclaimed psychotropic indie group, The Deer, live up to their psychedelic tagline and prove their ability to pull the listener into a folky psychedelic world for just a few sweet minutes. “Move to Girls” is big, imposing and haunting, thanks to ample reverb and blooming engineering credited to the band bassist Jesse Dalton. Though you may be pulled out of the fog at certain points by Grace Rowland’s airy vocals and Noah Jefferies' staccato mandolin playing, nothing can really save you from slipping away into the beat and sway of the instrumental. Space is a key part of the composition, with Rowland taking noticeable steps back from the track in order to let it breathe, adding to the ambient soul of the song. A good touchpoint for new listeners is Fleetwood Mac, considering that Rowland’s vocal instrument is slightly evocative of a Texan Stevie Nicks, a similarity furthered by the band's “Dreams”-like melody that rows back and forth. The Deer’s latest single creates a place for you to look inward for a moment and escape.

Thomas Paparella on October 1, 2019
Painted On - Passed Forward

Painted On - Passed Forward


Today, Brooklyn-based indie duo Painted On premieres their second single, “Passed Forward.” The melancholy song is somewhat of a more austere ballad in comparison to the band’s first release, “Fall,” which creeps through an electronic ascension of slow, ambient percussion. In “Passed Forward,” Painted On’s comprising members Hillary Capps and Anthony Farina explore their signature cinematic crescendos alongside something folksier and more stripped down. Sounding not entirely unlike Of Monsters and Men’s 2012 sensation “Little Talks,” Capps and Farina find a vocal meeting place amid layered echoes and exultant chants with the refrain’s grounding hook: “You’re my home.”

Lindsay Thomaston on September 27, 2019
Ackerman - A Day At The Beach

Ackerman - A Day At The Beach


Ackerman’s “A Day at the Beach” follows “84 Palms,” their first trippy, Animal Collective-inspired single from their upcoming EP, A Million Sunflowers, due out November 1. The Brooklyn trio started out as the solo USB-microphone recording project of singer Jordan McAfee-Hahn, but the “yummy collaborative effort” has evolved to include over a dozen members. That sort of sprawl is present in everything they touch—“A Day at the Beach” is a six-minute song, more than half of which is instrumental, taking its sweet time with an echoing guitar solo. On “A Day at the Beach,” the band concerns itself primarily with the feeling they evoke. When Bernardo Ochoa sings the opening lyrics, “Come sink / To the sea / It’s so sweet,” he sounds like a siren, beckoning the listener to join him, to float endlessly away. In the lead-up to the release of “A Day at the Beach,” Ackerman has been teasing the song with photographs of band members on beaches, accompanied by the song’s other terse lyrics: “The sun / Over me / And the beach,” or “My toes / Are sandy, yeah.” Sprawling, moody, and self-aware.

Daniel Shanker on September 27, 2019
Blu DeTiger - Tangerine

Blu DeTiger - Tangerine


From the moment she declares, "The crown look good on me, don't it," Blu DeTiger demands your full attention on her funky new single, "Tangerine." DeTiger transports you to the world that flashes in your mind when you lock eyes with someone in a chic Lower East Side club: a vibrant reverie of glittering lights, where her name is scrawled on the walls in Glossier lipstick and she's made a throne for herself among silk sheets in your bed. Her voice, while more commanding than on her other tracks like "Mad Love," remains distinctly languid, and is the perfect vehicle for "Tangerine"'s allure. "Roses at my feet if I let you," she sings. If you're with her, she's in charge. "There's a vulnerability in admitting what you want," she says of the song, "It’s flirty, cheeky, empowering, badass, and the groove just glides." Produced by Benjamin Ruttner of The Knocks, her signature syncopated, "gasoline"-tinged bass sits at the forefront, while splashes of new wave guitar, punchy horns, and futuristic glitchy synths meet to create a high-saturation sound as fresh as tangerine.

Ysabella Monton on September 27, 2019
Blush FM - Move

Blush FM - Move


Blush FM's "Move" is nothing short of a beautifully haunting power-ballad. The solo project of New York native Andromeda Hewson explores what it means to "allow one’s self the space to develop their own integrity." Evocative classical piano eventually builds into a groovy crescendo of drums and electric guitar as synths loom in the background and Hewson's voice reverberates through the lines, "I can’t do what you want me to do / I don’t know how to move that way / You don’t see who I wanna be / I only need to see that way." Sung with such conviction, Hewson said, "Move' encapsulates that trust in myself, while acknowledging that it doesn’t look the same on everyone.”

Jazzmyne Pearson on September 27, 2019

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